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Number 9

Mainstream institutions will cling desperately to the status quo. Galileo risked imprisonment and death for his support of theories, proposed by Copernicus, that effectively obliterated the earth-centric view of the universe. Religious leaders of Galileo’s day refused even to gaze into his telescope, where they could have seen for themselves that other planets had smaller bodies orbiting around them. They feared the loss of their worldview—and the loss of their power. Similar trepidation will be encountered in trying to extend viewpoints on the relationship between science and spirituality.

Some believe that states of spiritual transcendence are little more than neuroprocessing anomalies produced by the inhibition of certain brain centers, a disruption of neurotransmitters, or even a simple lack of oxygen. But all human perceptions and experiences, including those of the spirit, occur in the brain. The fact that a perception of light can be triggered by electrical stimulation of the brain does not negate the existence of light. In a similar vein, the fact that experiences of a spiritual nature may occur due to rare neurological conditions does not negate the potential reality of these spiritual states.


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